On Saturday, February 11, the Boardmembers, stakeholders and guests of the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council met at the WH Marriott for an all-day Retreat and Board Workshop.
County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky opened the session with a passionate dissection of SB1818 and the LA’s City Council current approach to bringing the City into compliance with State law. Calling the law “a poorly thought-out effort to create affordable housing” Zev contends that LA’s proposed ordinance “places greater emphasis on new, more intense development than the law requires and less emphasis on neighborhood preservation and protection than it should.”
Zev wrapped with an appeal to the NC audience, reminding them that the City Council never sought out the community’s input on SB1818 and now it was time for the NC to speak up and to take charge and to truly represent.
Ali Sahabi, a sustainable development expert, then took the podium and gave a presentation on Dos Lagos, a mixed-use project that was built with a commitment to maintaining respect for Nature and Community. Ali spoke of his belief that a neighborhood should be a “total living experience” and was able to demonstrate that good environmental decisions are great economic decisions.
Fired up and ready to focus on the neighborhood, the NC leaders broke into groups based on the 7 NC Areas and selected “Campaigns” for improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods. They worked through lunch, they debated and they fine-tuned and then they walked, literally.
They then went on a Walkabout, a survey of the neighborhood taken as a group. Armed with a mandate to create Community, advise the City on the delivery of services, improve the quality of life in the neighborhood and to educate and empower the stakeholders, the NC Board took “before” photos and then slowed down and walked, all in an effort to really experience the sidewalks, street furniture, driveways, traffic, greenery, design, architecture and the general aesthetic of the streets of Woodland Hills Warner Center.
The NC “Campaigns” were refined as the teams walked. Concepts such as Complete Streets and a “livability index” were discussed and this Wednesday the Area teams will unveil their plans for improving the quality of life in their neighborhood.
And it all started when the Board went for a walk.
“See you on the Streets!”